Collaborations

UOL PARTNERS WITH AL-BASEER FOUNDATION FOR AN OPHTHALMOLOGY CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

OVER 6,000 PATIENTS SCREENED, 153 SURGERIES DONE, AND 40 EYE CAMPS CONDUCTED

The University of Lahore Teaching Hospital (UOLTH) is in collaboration with Al-Baseer Foundation (AF) to turn the hospital’s ophthalmology department into a centre of excellence in the region. This is part of the Comprehensive Eye Care Programme (CECP) that started August 18, 2017. Since its commencement, over 6,000 patients have been screened, 153 eye surgeries conducted and 40 eye camps organized across Lahore city. In an exclusive interview with the Spectacle, December 20, 2017, Dr Fida Hussain, an Optometrist managing the project, revealed that 1,837 sight lenses, and more than 4,417 accompanying medical packages have been donated to the patients as of December 15, 2017. The project headed by Prof Dr Durraiz Rehman, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Dr. M. Khizar Bashir, as Director, started with 3 staff. It has, however, since expanded to over 24 employees spread in administration, consultations, screening, dispensing of drugs, surgeries, nursing, and treatment of patients at UOLTH. This human resource expansion goes hand-in-hand with infrastructure developments that are provided by the UOL, whereas Al-Baseer Foundation, a Karachi based non-profit establishment, aiming at providing fully-inclusive comprehensive eye care services and reduction of avoidable blindness, is providing technical support in form of expertise, equipment and drugs. Dr. Fida added that the envisioned Centre of Excellence in four-year timeframe, will be a solution to all eye care problems with minor and major surgeries taking place within the Hospital. “We want to be a centre for all eye solutions. We are now referring some patients to other government hospitals, but shortly everything will be done here, from minor to major surgeries,” he said. CECP is subsidizing the cost of treatment for patients, and those with proof of inability to pay hospital bills; the management accommodates them through the humanitarian support. Apart from the communities around UOLTH, CECP is providing excellent training environment for optometry, and MBBS students. “UOL students get practical training with us. We involve them in our eye camps that take place outside the university, eye wards, theatre, OPD, and in all units of ophthalmology department,” Dr. Fida added.

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